Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ATLANTApix: 1,000,000 Pagodas

Wooden Pagoda that Held a Japanese Paper Prayer
Wooden Pagoda that Held a Japanese Paper Prayer
One of Atlanta's hidden treasures is the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, which houses exhibit after exhibit of the history of paper making. Imagine a world with zero paper and you'll immediately realize the undeniable significance of this particular museum.

One displayed factoid, that I personally find absolutely amazing, is one of the very first examples of Japanese printing on paper. 

In 770 A. D. (a very, very, very long time ago!), a royal decree by Empress Shotoku ordered the printing of 1,000,000 paper prayers—the Hyakumanto dharani—many of which survive today.

That's fascinating in and of itself, but...each of the 1,000,000 paper prayers were enshrined in their own wooden pagoda (photo). Mind-blowing, right?

That's the kind of museum this is. And it's saturated with fascinating information about the earliest papers to modern paper making. It'll make you want to go home and write someone a letter...on paper! And when was the last time you did that?

ATLANTApix and ATLANTAvidz of the tourATLANTA blog features a daily photo or video relative to Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

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